Raven Klaasen, left, of South Africa, reacts with doubles partner Michael Venus of New Zealand during the Citi Open in Washington. Photo: AP Photo/Nick Wass

WASHINGTON – Fresh from lifting the Citi Open (ATP 500) doubles crown in Washington DC on Sunday night, SA’s Raven Klaasen and New Zealand partner Michael Venus have risen to second place in the race to reach the end of year ATP doubles finals.

Meanwhile, Klaasen, who turns 37 in October, has seen his own ATP doubles ranking reach a career high in seventh position.

The SA/Kiwi duo have now won two ATP 500 events this year – having also triumphed at the Halle Open in June.

However, the Washington triumph was especially sweet considering the calibre of opponents Klaasen and Venus saw off last week – including Andy and Jamie Murray, second-seeds, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, and French Open doubles champions, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.

Raven Klaasen, of South Africa, returns the ball as he and Michael Venus, of New Zealand, played a doubles match in the Citi Open in Washington. Photo: AP Photo/Nick Wass
Raven Klaasen, of South Africa, returns the ball as he and Michael Venus, of New Zealand, played a doubles match in the Citi Open in Washington. Photo: AP Photo/Nick Wass

“When the draw first came out, everybody was looking at that like, ‘Man, there's no easy way out through this thing.’ You had to be ready from day one,” said Klaasen. “For us, every day felt like a final, pretty much.

”We snuck through a couple of match tie-breaks this week… If you had asked me what the chances were of us sitting here today at the beginning of the week, it would have been a stretch to imagine given the strength of the field.” 

African News Agency (ANA)